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Stream of Consciousness Monday: The Bears Still Suck Edition

Aaron Rodgers

There’s a dichotomy in watching Green Bay Packers football games. There is for me at least. I want Green Bay to destroy teams and play to its potential in every game, through every series, and on every single down. Yet, when that happens and the Packers lay a beatdown on an opponent like they did Sunday night, inevitably the result is boring and the game-watching experience severely dampened.

So once again, since this game was over at halftime, I offer up the five rather than 10 things that stood out most to me in the yawner that was the Packers complete dismantling of the Chicago Bears.

1. A Championship Move
The coaching staff takes their share of grief around these parts and usually it is rightfully so. I try to be as honest as possible with myself and the Total Packers audience and truly call them as I see them. You might want to write this one down. Moving Clay Matthews to inside linebacker is a game-changer and, in my mind, puts Green Bay immediately in Super Bowl conversations. Not only does the move shore up the once pathetic run defense by putting the speedy, sure-tackling Matthews in the middle, it removes Matthews from the edge where he’s been a proven liability against the run time and time again.

Nick Perry doesn’t have such issues against the run on the outside and is possibly the Packers best edge-setter on the roster. With him playing outside more often, the Packers inevitably lose a little bit in the pass rush department, but what they gain in run defense far exceeds the negative. And let’s be real. When Perry is rushing the quarterback from the right side, he’s got big-time power and has been anything but a slouch.

Assuming Clay is in fact on board with playing inside, this is a very selfless move on his part. Oh sure when the microphone is on and in his face he’ll say the right thing and tell you that, “Stats don’t matter and all I want to do is win.” But make no mistake about it — I promise you Clay Matthews loves sacking the quarterback and that stat that comes with it. That’s a very sexy statistic that gets way more attention than it deserves. Tackles? Pretty much the exact opposite.

Also imagine the amount of book-learning and mental preparation that Matthews went through and will likely continue to go through learning a new position. That should not be overlooked. Yes, guys want to help the ball club and win games, but not every player is willing to learn a completely different position. That’s a team-first move by Matthews to go along with this.

Clay Matthews has a chance to do something that isn’t very common in NFL history. He has a chance to make playing inside linebacker sexy and cool. When the hell was the last time that happened?

Big props to Mike McCarthy and Dom Capers for pulling the trigger on this move and for hopefully having the balls to continue on with it.

2. Over! Over! Over!
Was anyone out there sold on my prediction for this game as I tried to steer the readers towards the Packers and the over? The Packers didn’t disappoint in either regard and the books in Vegas probably took one of their bigger beatings of the year. Just about all the late money on the game was on the Packers and the over, which pushed the line from the Packers -7 to -9.5. The over/under went from 53 up to 54.5 so the house definitely took a big hit.

The over is now 6-0 in the Packers last six games.

3. Rodgers that!
I mean what can you say that hasn’t been said? Aaron Rodgers owns the Chicago Bears. That being said, they made it super easy.

4. A Grain of Salt
What can we really take away from Sunday night’s game? Not too much, but some concepts were solidified. Namely that the Bears really do still suck. I actually like their head coach, but it appears fairly obvious that the Bears have already quit on Marc Trestman, whose forthcoming dismissal is no longer a question of if, but when.

The Packers looked good as they always do against Chicago and other poor teams, but the winning result does nothing to alleviate the concerns about how this team will perform against top competition. Don’t be blinded by the high score and the domination of a pathetic bunch of losers who have already given up. This game revealed nothing about the caliber of team the Packers are or aspire to be.

Nine games into the season the Packers are 6-3, having beaten opponents whose combined record is just 17-28-1 for an extremely weak 37 percent winning percentage. In contrast, the three teams the Packers have lost to are a combined 17-10 for a 63 percent winning percentage.

I do have a lot of confidence that moving Matthews to the middle will solve some of the Packers’ defensive woes, but until the Patriots confidently stroll into Lambeau Field in a few weeks, I’m not sure we’ll have any clue how good this team is or how good they can be.

5. DUJUAN!!!
As the score kept getting more and more out of control, the only thing that kept me glued to the box was the hope that my main man DuJuan Harris would get some carries in mop-up duty. Well low and behold, I got my wish! Not only did DuJuan get a few carries, he managed to exit the game as Green Bay’s top rusher on the night. Harris’ eight rushes for 52 yards carried a robust 6.5 yards average and outdid Eddie Lacy’s 14 carries for 50 yards. Granted, Harris didn’t have an epic screen pass go for a touchdown, but with the Packers shifting to several backups on the offensive line late in the game, DuJuan’s performance is probably even a little better than the numbers indicate.

DuJuan Harris rightfully remains the Packers number three running back, but it is not a product of him being a third-string player. Rather, it’s a product of being behind two really good running backs. James Starks only carried five times for 10 yards versus the Bears, so maybe the competition for backup to Eddie Lacy is getting a little closer. I like both Starks and Harris but still argue the latter is the most electric ball carrier the Packers have.

Andrew Chitko

Andrew Chitko is an excellent handicapper and a below average bettor. Although he is capable of uncovering keen insight in to sides and totals, he will almost certainly derail his profit margin chasing ridiculous parlays that have almost zero chance of cashing. Despite his self-awareness on these matters, expect the trend to continue until he hits a 12-teamer for a six-figure score. If he steps out of line and is convinced he has a lock, mortgage your house and bet the other way.



  1. Chad Lundberg November 10, 2014

    Agreed with every point here. Trestman would be a great offensive coordinator, but a coach he is not. That’s partially because the severe lack of talent and personell on the Bears D, but golly no defense should play this badly.

  2. Kato November 10, 2014

    I think the move of Clay Matthews is the key to the rest of the season. It helps them put their best 11 out on defense. Jamari Lattimore and Sam Barrington are most certainly not their most talented players. I hope they still move him around the defense a bit to make them a little more unpredictable. Best game of the year all around, but I think the New England game will be a true measuring tape of how good this team actually is. If they get homefield throughout, look out. A BIG IF.

    1. Kozak November 10, 2014

      There’s no reason with some creative blitz’s that Clay has to give up much in the way of sacks from ILB position. Look at the blitz packages the Steelers run…

      1. Andrew Chitko November 11, 2014

        Absolutely agree here. On a down by down basis the Packers will have Matthews rush the passer less, but he can still come from the inside and/or move outside in more obvious passing situations. As stated…I looooove the move. I hope Clay loves it as much. It’s not often a DPOY is asked to learn a new position in the prime of his career. Andrew Chitko @achitko

  3. Howard November 10, 2014

    It is a good thing to get so many young and inexperienced players some game time. It will help the overall team quality in the future. In addition with a long NFL season it cannot hurt to keep the roster somewhat rested for a late run.

  4. Kozak November 10, 2014

    As far as Bear suckitude goes, these guys may be the worst since the 1969 Bears who went 1-13. Shades of Bobby Douglas and Jim Dooley!

    1. Andy November 11, 2014

      On top of the bears sucking is the fact that every lousy TV “analyst/expert” fawns over how good their skill position players are. They maybe physically imposing but other than running up meaningless stats they don’t actually do that much.

  5. Phatgzus November 11, 2014

    1. Since the days of Jack Lambert?
    4. The only thing we learned from the game is “Same Old Jay”, and concurrently, that the Da Bares really are THAT bad.
    5. Loved Harris since he showed up like some sort of manic incarnation of St. Elmo’s Fire in his first game for us, would love to see him get more opportunities (as long as he can hang onto the ball) because he’s a threat to take it to the house whether he’s a runner or receiver. Could you imagine having to try to defend a two-back set with he, Lacy, and Rodgers in the backfield. DCs would have strokes the week before a Packer game.